Thursday, January 3, 2008
After Vuillard in Brush and Ink and Pen and Ink
Last night I decided to get some work done in my Mendelowitz book. The chapter I just finished reading was on line. He mentioned the standard ideas around lines. He stressed quality of line, lost and found edges, weight of line, etc. One of the exercises was to play around with a brush and ink.
I have been hoping to explore the brush with ink for a while, so it seemed the time to do it. (I even recently bought a sumi-e kit - that's for another night :-) So, I messed around making all sorts of lines, trying different brushes, and adding water. He suggested either copying a drawing from the chapter or doing something similar. I chose the Edouard Vuillard drawing of his mother. I wish I could find it for you online, but it's a wonderfully sensitive, delicate sketch in pencil.
First, I tried it with the brush, see image above. Before putting brush to paper, I knew that the brush would naturally give me heavy lines and so to convey the delicacy I would need to be careful. Without outline, I just went line by line and tried to capture what I could see. It came much closer (in terms of delicacy) than I expected.
Second, I tried it with a dip pen, see image below. With the pen, I knew I would get a delicate line, but whether it would be "flowing" and "graceful" enough, remained to be seen. Again, without outline, I attempted to be as fluid in my movements as with the brush.
All in all, a challenging and fun exercise. I certainly feel more inclined to keep trying with the brush and ink. I did a few sketches of random things around my bedroom - even tried adding a bit of water and using a "wash" for shading. Ah, it's so fun to explore!